Bryant University isn’t a large school by any means, but that doesn’t mean you can’t still feel a little lost. Bryant is, and will remain so for the time being, primarily a business school. Though they claim that their School of Arts and Sciences is gaining ground and popularity, a majority of the students are here to study business. As a Literary and Cultural Studies and Political Science concentrator, it is easy to feel like a little fish in a big pond. It is a standard question to ask someone what their major is when first meeting them, and often when I tell them, they are surprised. If I had a dollar for every time someone said, “Wait, we actually have one of those here?” well, I’d be quite a few dollars richer. Yes, we do exist, and no, I am not the only one. Though only a small percentage of the student body is an Arts and Sciences major, it doesn’t mean no one is. However, it can mean that we are sometimes overlooked.
So what does it really mean to be a liberal arts major at a primarily business school? It means that you have to sometimes struggle through business orientated classes because they are required of you in order to graduate from Bryant. It means that at career fairs, you’ll struggle to find a company you want to talk to, because most of them are looking for business students. There might be one or two companies that represent your liberal arts major, but you won’t leave making 10 or so connections like the other students. It means the Bryant Career Connection is primarily filled with Accounting and Finance jobs, with only a handful of liberal arts jobs. But what about those of us who are not pursuing a career in business? Who are the English, Psychology, Politics and Law, Biology, and all the other Arts and Science majors supposed to talk to? It’s great that Bryant has so many connections with companies like PWC, Target, Dell, Liberty Mutual, etc., however, you are not going to find a job with one of those companies without being a business concentrator. Often people forget that this school has more than just business majors, and us liberal arts majors can be left to fend for ourselves at times.
Bryant claims that their School of Arts and Sciences is improving and growing larger, and while that may be true, a majority of the students come here for their School of Business. It’s rare when you find someone else who isn’t here to primarily focus on business. Most of your friends will be business majors who fix their schedules so they have classes together, while you probably won’t find any classes you have in common. While all of your friends are working through accounting or finance questions together, you’ll probably be holed up on your own trying to finish your ten-page paper.
However, one of the great benefits is that you will often take classes with the same professor, and really get to know them. They’ll often take an interest in you as well, since you are taking their classes out of genuine interest and desire to learn, while others may just be filling their liberal arts requirement. These are the people who will help you find that internship, or that job, that you may not have seen posted on our job board. They’ll give you advice on what you can do with your liberal arts degree, and how to make the most of it. If you are a liberal arts major, make sure you take the time to go to your professor’s office hours and get to know them, as this connection can be very important to your future success. The liberal arts program at Bryant can seem underrated at times, but you have great opportunity to guide your degree and take the classes that will interest you, and be beneficial in a future career. Always have your goal
in mind, and make the most of what opportunities Bryant does provide for its liberal arts students.